News

EBMUD board votes to increase water rates nearly 13% over two years

GM: ‘Water may be free, but getting it to customers is not’

East Bay Municipal Utility District directors voted 5-1 on Tuesday to approve a water rate increase totaling nearly 13% over the next two years.

The board's vote means that the water agency's 1.4 million customers in Alameda and Contra Costa counties will face a 6.5% rate hike on July 1 and another 6.25% hike on July 1, 2020.

The rate hikes follow an increase of nearly 20% over the past two years.

EBMUD officials said the average single-family residential customer using 200 gallons of water a day will see their bill rise by $3.62 per month starting on July 1 and another $3.73 per month on July 1, 2020.

In addition, the average homeowner will see a 3% increase on July 1 and an additional 4% hike in 2020.

The board also voted 6-0 to approve a $2.3 billion budget for the next two fiscal years.

Director John Coleman was the only director to vote against the rate increase and director Doug Linney, who attended most of the meeting but had to leave early, was absent during the votes.

The water district says it needs to increase its water rates in order to upgrade its pipes and infrastructure.

EBMUD officials said their system encompasses more than 4,200 miles of pipes, five reservoirs, six water treatment plants, 164 water storage tanks and a large wastewater treatment plant at the foot of the Bay Bridge and the system's replacement cost is estimated at more than $15 billion.

"Our infrastructure would weaken without crucial repairs and upgrades," Board President Marguerite Young said in a statement.

Young said, "Our focus is ensuring this system, the lifeblood of the East Bay, continues to operate for another 100 years. This budget will fund the high quality, reliable water delivery and wastewater treatment that the East Bay relies on for a vibrant economy, environment and quality of life."

Water district officials said infrastructure renewal is expensive but essential and it costs about $2.5 million to replace a typical mile of pipeline.

They said the budget funds more than $800 million of capital improvements over the next two years.

"Water may be free, but getting it to customers is not," General Manager Alexander Coate said.

Coate said, "Our rates cover the cost to store, treat and deliver water -- and those costs continue to rise."

— Bay City News Service

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Comments

3 people like this
Posted by Dalen
a resident of Danville
on Jun 12, 2019 at 6:20 am

Big surprise there when the company can vote to raise their rates - they are already super high because of drought now no drought never went down let’s raise them even higher - that’s like our congress people giving themselves a raise - for what????


Like this comment
Posted by Median Joe
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 12, 2019 at 6:37 am

Median Joe is a registered user.

Ah East Bay MUD, one of the few providers where you can enjoy the water right out of the tap. Keep up the good work.

EBMUD meets and surpasses all state and federal drinking water requirements, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead and Copper Rule.


Like this comment
Posted by AC
a resident of Danville
on Jun 12, 2019 at 7:39 am

Earlier the rate hike was because of the drought. Now that there’s no drought, rates should have gone down, instead they found another reason for the hike. The service may be good, but rate hike every year is bad!!


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Jun 12, 2019 at 9:29 am

The water company is so funny. They tell us to save water, save water, save water. So we save on water, we are helping conserve and in return our bill goes down. But wait


8 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Jun 12, 2019 at 9:34 am

I added an emoji and it stopped my article there.

So we save water and since they lose money each year the more we save, they raise our rates continually. We should have never started conserving all those years ago when they asked, we would be getting a better deal today, for the rates would not have gone up so high. Its just a reminder its time to leave this over taxed state in the desert.


6 people like this
Posted by Long Term Resident
a resident of Danville
on Jun 12, 2019 at 10:17 am

I know most people are very upset at PG&E and deservedly so. However, EBMUD keeps raising our rates with no oversight or controls. They purposely hold their public meetings on Tuesday mid morning when the average working person can't get there to protest or comment. The EBMUD board only has one person (John Coleman) representing the east side of the hills. All the rest are in Berkeley and Oakland where they have smaller lots and a much different climate. The tiered water rate structure heavily penalizes those of us on this side of the hills while keeping baseline levels within reach of those on the other side of the hills. Like BART, EBMUD's salary and pensions are way to rich for a public utility.

As for water conservation. We have all saved water, but they are just selling it to all the new customers at the ever growing housing developments in San Ramon and other areas. We are all facing an extra 12 cents per gallon gasoline tax next month too when our gasoline is already $1.galloin more than most other areas.Someday, the Golden Goose is going to die.


5 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 12, 2019 at 8:37 pm

Since they are using all these expenses as a reason for the increase, I think it would be appropriate... no, necessary, for them to provide a budget so we can see where all the money they are currently getting is being used. Better yet, how about an independent audit by a recognized accounting firm. With all the rate increases that are currently coming down and the fact that retired folks are desperately trying to keep their solvent in the current stock market that is dragging down their 401-Ks and IRAs it's getting a little hard to stay ahead, even a little bit. We are continually told that there is "only" 2% inflation. I wonder where "they" get that figure?


2 people like this
Posted by
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Jun 13, 2019 at 10:14 am

That's quite a steep increase of the water rates. I'm glad I don't live in that area.


Like this comment
Posted by bertje
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 13, 2019 at 10:15 am

That's quite a steep increase of the water rates. I'm glad I don't live [url]Web Link]


1 person likes this
Posted by Chris
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 13, 2019 at 12:04 pm

@Long Term Resident "As for water conservation. We have all saved water, but they are just selling it to all the new customers at the ever growing housing developments in San Ramon and other areas."

New developments are NOT serviced by EBMUD they're serviced by the Dublin San Ramon Water District and the water is hard and tastes bad compared to EBMUD.

Web Link


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